By Scotty Coppage
Bill Simmons had brought his whole Ringer crew of podcasters to Vegas for a live show at Caesar’s Palace that was announced one week before. My dad and I had tickets to go to Vegas we bought three months ago. We would arrive a day late and a live podcast short. On the flight I listened to their episode talking about late night blackjack and eating too much looking for clues to where they were going so I could meet them.
If only to say thanks for helping me get through my weeks, or maybe we click and I end up on the pod ala “Almost Famous.” My 37-year-old self as 15 year-old William and Bill Simmons as Lester Bangs taking him under his wing.
On the podcast, Chris Ryan talked about maybe dropping by the Sports Book at Caesar’s Palace for a World Cup game at 5:00. After checking into our hotel and grabbing a cheap bite at In-N-Out Burger, I told my dad.
“I want to go to Caesar’s Palace and go to the Sports Book to see if I can run into Bill Simmons or anyone from his crew,” I said.
Dad played video poker with a Coke while I scoped the joint out.
“Alright, listen up, ladies and gentlemen, our podcast host has been on the run for 24 hours. Average foot speed over smoke filled casino carpet barring sleep deprivation and binge eating is 4 miles-per-hour. That gives us a radius of six miles. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every blackjack table, slot machine, restaurant, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your podcast host’s name is Bill Simmons. Go get him.”
My Sam Gerard skills were coming up nothing. Have you ever tried finding a short, pale, white guy in a casino? Sam Gerard never would’ve had a chance. I wanted to meet House, Chris Ryan, Andy Greenwald and Juliet Litman. Bill was the most recognizable of all of them. The other guys, the best I could come up with is what a crude police sketch of all of them would be. I had a Heineken and if I didn’t see anyone by the time I was done, my dad and I would go do something else.
On our way out of Caesar’s Palace, there was this duet playing in a tiny bar in the front of the hotel. They were playing The Cure’s “Love Song” mixed with something else.
“Can we check them out?” I asked my dad as we sat at a table 10 feet from the band.
“Let’s move up.”
We got the seats closest to them and they finished “Love Song.”
“You guys moved up,” Zoe, the singer said. “Most people move back.”
“Not tonight,” I said.
The band was called The Electrics. Cole Sherratt led them with guitar, vocals and drums on a loop. When they asked for requests, I volunteered Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” as tribute. They played it like they had been playing it for years.
Everything they played was great, great enough to pay for overpriced Cokes and IPA beers. “Use Somebody” and “Smooth Operator” and then “Roxanne” before they took a break. My dad and I went to talk to them. Dad talked to Cole about his equipment to loop all the music. I told Zoe about my Roxanne experience.
“When my wife and I put on the sheets, we’ll sing ‘Fresh sheets……..lalalalalala….fresh sheets…….put on the red light….fresh sheets’ in our best Sting voice,” I said.
Zoe loved it and said it should be in a commercial. The Electrics were going to play two more hours after their break. With everything within grasp in Vegas, there was nowhere else my dad and I wanted to be.
The set included Sweet Dreams (not the Manson version though that would’ve been cool), Heart Shaped Box, Creep, Rhiannon. They also played “Kiss” like “Purple Rain” not “Rock and Roll All Nite.”
“I see your shirt and I’ve got one for you,” Cole said pointing out my Weezer shirt.
They played “Say It Ain’t So.” First Tracy Chapman, now Weezer! They closed out their set with “Losing My Religion”, “Creep”, “Under the Bridge”, “Crazy (Gnarles Barkley not Seal) and “Dream On.”
We thanked them and wished them well. Zoe was singing somewhere at 1:00 in the morning if we were around. For two guys on Texas time, 1:00 would be too much. We saw Michael Jackson One and Blue Man Group on this trip and we had more fun with the Electrics. Thanks Bill Simmons.
I looked for them on FB and Instagram the next day and found nothing. Google wasn’t helpful either. A few weeks later, my dad called Caesar’s Palace and after jumping through holds and transferred calls, he got an email with Cole’s name, email and bands he’s in. My dad is the real Sam Gerard.